Winner of the Museum of the Year 2015, the Whitworth impressed with its extensive £15 million redevelopment project.
The redevelopment transformed the 125-year-old Whitworth into a 21st century arts venue in the park. Its four galleries – and their contents – are now visible from the outside, with the aim of enticing new audiences into the space. Three have been extensively refurbished to reveal the 19th century barrel vault ceilings and one is completely new, while a learning studio, study centre and a collections access zone have also been added.
The Whitworth was awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015. Stephen Deuchar, chair of the judges and director of the Art Fund, said: 'The transformation of the Whitworth – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination – has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years.
'We were particularly taken with the relationship between the reconceived building and its surrounding park: museum, locality and community merge as if one. And in a wider sense the Whitworth has changed the landscape: it truly feels like a museum of the future.'
In episode one of the second series of our podcast Meet Me at the Museum comedian Russell Kane and his auntie Christine at the Whitworth Gallery, where they reflect on the relationship between culture and class and tour the incredible range of artwork on show.
The Whitworth is home to an eclectic and extensive collection of historical and contemporary fine art, textiles and wallpapers. An ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions showcases work by the likes of Cornelia Parker and Sarah Lucas.
Part of the gallery's transformation also included an outdoor display of sculptures by Christine Borland, Nate Lowman, Simon Periton, Nico Vascellari and Nathan Coley, which spill from the gallery's garden and terrace out into the park beyond.